Call it naivete if you need to, but when all three members of Migos unleashed solo projects over the course of a couple of months starting in 2018, the concept of the group disbanding was likely the furthest thing from anyone’s mind—they guested on one another’s projects, for goodness sake. But within the timeless words of 1 Nasir Jones, “a thug changes, and love changes, and best friends grow to be strangers (word up).”
If dissension inside a crew of three preternaturally talented Atlanta MCs wasn’t inevitable, it was undeniable by summer 2022, when fans discovered that Offset was suing Migos’ label Quality Control Records for exclusive rights to his solo recordings. This will likely not have needed to affect Migos’ members’ relationships with each other—see the continually muddy comings and goings of artists and producers throughout the Money Money Records camp on the turn of the century. But it surely did, which led to Quavo and Takeoff, real life uncle and nephew, affirming the family ties with Only Built for Infinity Links. And people guys appear to be getting along fantastic.
“An infinity link, see, that’s the strongest link on this planet,” Quavo explains on album opener “Two Infinity Links.” “By far stronger than a Cuban,” Takeoff adds, setting the table for an try and push the vision of Raekwon and Ghostface showcase Only Built 4 Cuban Linx an iced-out step further. But who, exactly, are Quavo and Takeoff without Offset? To be VVS-quality clear, they’re the identical MCs they were with him.
Across the album, they’ve commissioned beats from longtime Migos collaborators—DJ Durel, Mustard, and Murda Beatz, amongst others—to speak big money (“HOTEL LOBBY,” “Hell Yeah”), big drip (“Not Out,” “Integration”), and, in fact, big jewels (“Chocolate,” “Look @ This,” “Big Stunna”). Life as two-thirds of hip-hop’s favorite trio for roughly a decade running has clearly been good to Quavo and Takeoff, they usually don’t have any plans to stop living it to the fullest, whether Offset is within the studio with them or not. Above all, they sound completely satisfied, and particularly so within the face of doubters still perplexed by their longevity. “We balling on n***as they thought it was gon’ be an upset,” Takeoff says on “Tools.” “They give the impression of being at us like leprechauns, like, ‘Rattling, them n***as ain’t run out of luck yet’ (No!).”